Edem and I got an email from Emily last week for the Sunday morning gathering at All Nations. She asked if Edem could mention something while she leads worship and if I could give a three minute intro for tithes and offerings. Okay, it was a little blatant - if Edem could lead worship, I could certainly do a three minute intro to something. Of course I said yes… and of course I felt butterflies in my tummy and lungs and heart and throat as I typed yes...
I inherited this lovely personality trait known as "timidity", which can also be referred to as "social anxiety" or "fear" or "please don't look at me" or "please don't expect me to talk." I cried every day of my senior kindergarten year (I don’t think my parents even dared to try me out in junior kindergarten); as a child I got nervous telling people my name; one Christmas I hid in a closet when it was my turn to play at a piano recital (did I mention my mom was my teacher and the recital was in our home?). I could go on and on.
And it wasn't anything my parents did or didn't do. They always put me in situations to help me practise speaking and being in front of people and gaining confidence. And they gave me security when I just couldn’t do it. They were good that way, in that balanced way.
Anyway, you know the verse I'm going to mention, right? "God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline" (2 Timonthy 1:7). With that lovely truth from the Lord deep inside me I've been able to do many things that I would never have thought possible. We're always growing to be more like Christ. I got up there on Sunday and spoke through what the Lord had asked me to share about tithes and offerings. And it didn't matter what happened or how I looked, I just obeyed.
But I want to share something that's helped me on this timidity journey. Sunday morning reminded me of it.
I've found freedom in distinguishing a few other qualities from timidity. Extrapolating the good and making sure I don't confuse it with the less desirable. Here's my revelation: timidity is different from quietness, timidity is not the same as gentleness, timidity is not introversion. Timidity is this tiny little thing and has nothing to do with who I am. But I don't want to despise or try to change parts of me that are actually God-given. Quiet hearts and gentle spirits are Godly things (the Bible tells us so). And introversion… well, introversion is just a concept to understand what you need in order to re-charge and fuel up for the next great thing you're going to face in your day. Confident people embrace who God's made them to be. I find if I don't, I'm awkward and uncomfortable and usually say or do things that I regret.
"So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other" (Colossians 3:12-13).